Ra’ad Halil (al-Masalmah), the terrorist who carried out a terrorist stabbing attack at the Beit Panorama office complex in Tel Aviv last year, expressed remorse at his actions, and claimed that he didn’t even remember carrying out the attack. “It was like I was asleep and woke up after I had done it,” he told investigators in footage broadcast by Channel Two. “I didn’t recognize myself.” He also said that the attack was an attempt at suicide, committed with the knowledge that he would get himself killed in the process of attacking Israelis.
The comments were made by Halil after he had recreated his actions as part of the investigation into the attack last year in which he killed two people in Tel Aviv. The two victims, 32-year-old Aharon Yisayev from Holon, and 51-year-old Reuven Aviram from Ramle, Hy”d, were killed when Halil entered a religious articles factory that housed a small shul for the benefit of workers in the south Tel Aviv building. The two were killed when Halil tried to get into the shul as a Minchah minyan was just starting, stabbing the victims right outside the room. People inside the room blocked the door for several long minutes as the terrorist tried to barge into the room. Eventually an individual with a gun was able to shoot the terrorist, wounding him moderately.
Halil was convicted of the murders after admitting to his actions. He was sentenced last month to two consecutive 20 year sentences in prison. Halil was indicted on two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder.
The footage was part of the interview Halil gave to security officials after he confessed and recreated the crime. It was aired after police gave their consent based on repeated requests by Channel Two. In the interview, Halil expresses regret at his actions, claiming that he was “unaware” of his actions while he was carrying them out. “I didn’t know what I was doing, but I realize it was a big mistake. With my own actions I destroyed my house, my life.” At another point in the interview, he said that he had undertaken his actions as an act of suicide. “This is not allowed in our religion, but if you do something like this, the Jews will shoot you, so there is no need to kill yourself.”
Halil, a resident of the Palestinian Authority town of Dura, had been granted an entry permit into Israel in order to take care of “personal matters.” He came to Beit Panorama to see his brother, who had a work permit and lived in the complex. Halil allowed his entry permit to lapse, and after a week, he decided to carry out a terror attack, the indictment said.